I want to preface this by saying that the biggest misconception about bloggers is that they’re entirely self absorbed. I want to say that but I’m not sure it’s true. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest fashion/lifestyle bloggers right now, these girls (and boys) are killing it and they’re doing it alone. They are their brand and to succeed in a business of your own making, don’t you have to give it your all?
It’s only natural that when your business is you that you would become a little insular. From the outside it may appear that someone is taking themselves too seriously or expecting too much of people when trying to capture an image, but that image is their job. If they were selling sweatshirts we wouldn’t judge them for scrutinising the quality of the materials or promoting those items so why do we feel differently when they are their own commodity.
Some are so successful that they’re employing staff, bringing on board partners and friends.. and this seems to be something to ridicule. I’ve heard so many people scoff at bloggers having assistants or photographers and I get it, it sounds pretentious but they’re investing in their business, it’s not just vanity. There is definitely an element of vanity to blogging but really, how is that different from self belief in another area?
Living in the north of England I’ve always have one foot firmly in the reality of ‘you look stupid pulling that face’ and so I am in awe of the men and women who manage to brand themselves so well. They look entirely comfortable dancing around for a camera and are confident enough to put those images out there. They look amazing and I know how hard they must have worked to get to that stage.. but I also know what they must have sacrificed.
As a Mum (and seriously, I do think geography plays a big role here too) I suffer the constant Mum-guilt. My husband may not think I do as I sit upstairs typing this but I do. When Milo asks me to play my answer is almost always ‘once I’ve finished this’ and I don’t want those to be his memories of me. That being said, I’m trying to build something here and if I carry on half-assing this and that, nobody is winning.
It’s a tricky line to tread between feeling guilty for the time you’re away and acknowledging that you need to work harder to grow. I am a naturally selfish person and knowing this about myself is great on a personal level but it also makes me constantly doubt whether my choices are sound. Should I spend that afternoon editing that video or should I be cleaning the house? Should I vlog while I’m with my family or is that not quality time?
Would I feel this was if I were a man? I really don’t think so. I’m certain there are lots of men who wish their jobs allowed them more time with their families but I’m more certain that the expectation for them to feel that way is less than with the mother. I feel like I’m the stereotypical ‘dad’ in our family, the fun parent but not the parent parent. I’m the story teller but I’m not the one getting them ready for bed.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘she’s off on a tangent again’ but I promise, it’s all related. Bottom line, if you work for yourself you have nobody else to rely on but yourself. Most people can’t hand off to an assistant, we’re working in to the night and we’re never truly off the clock. It might not be right for everyone but if you’ve found something you love and a way to make a living doing it, isn’t it worth it?
Bloggers are self obsessed because they have to be. Taking away the image element, lets say you never see their face. They’re still dedicating an incredible amount of their time to something that they enjoy and depending on your family dynamic, that can be a selfish decision. I could go back to work full time and have a ‘regular life’ at home with no laptops or cameras but that’s not what I want, I chose this.
The most successful ‘influencers’ (*shudder*) are working really hard on something they love. Yes, okay, it could ultimately build a better life for those closest to them but they’re doing it because they love it and (hopefully) their loved ones are supporting them. My husband is incredible with the kids and never considers anything to ‘Mums job’, that’s why I’m able to do what I do.
I still feel the Mum-guilt (and occasionally the Wife-guilt) but the option to go back to ‘the real world’ is always there if things go too heavy. This year is going to be make or break for me so we’ll see what it holds, but for now I want to quietly (because he’ll never read this) thank the man who never thought this was a stupid idea and has never made me feel selfish for choosing to pursue it.
*even though it was/is